The Language Exchange
The Language Exchange">
PO BOX 750
716 E. Fairhaven Ave.
Burlington, Washington 98233
360-755-9910
https://languageexchangeinc.com

Certified Medical Interpreters

medical_interpretersCertified medical interpreters contribute to quality patient care.  A certified medical interpreter assures effective and efficient communication that increases patient and staff satisfaction.  Higher satisfaction results in better clinical outcomes.  The Language Exchange has been providing medical interpreters to the medical communities of Washington State since 1986.  And worldwide with over-the-phone medical interpreters.

Certified Medical Interpreters Washington State

The Language Exchange facilitate access to health services for Limited English Proficient patients, their families and visitors.  We provide certified medical interpreters to the following counties: Skagit County, Whatcom County, Snohomish County, King County, Pierce County, Island County and San Juan County.

Language Exchange Medical Interpreters Testimonials

Many thanks to all that worked so hard to make this happen. I really appreciate all the work your team does for Skagit Regional Health. You have a very dedicated team.
~Lisa, Skagit Regional Health

I’ve discovered that you have the largest group of interpreters, including American Sign Language, of any agency! I’m so impressed. And you even got someone for us same-day.
~ Harman Eye Clinic

Thank you so much. That is awesome. You all have been so great in helping us out. I really appreciate your hard work in getting this job filled.
~ Proliance Surgeons

I have been employed by Skagit Valley Medical Center for over 7 years and one of my responsibilities has been to monitor and track the performance and pricing of our interpretive services.  The Language Exchange has always been very reliable and cost efficient in providing services to our patients.  They are able to accommodate same day and short notice appointments and require very little paperwork to make this happen.  I have received very positive feedback from providers and patients regarding the abilities and compassion of their interpreters.  Providers are confident our patients understand all communications and instructions given to them in the course of the visit.
~Cheryl, Skagit Valley Medical Center

Every attempt is made to provide services in any language. The service will be provided by an in-person interpreter, video conference or by telephone.

Using certified medical interpreters helps patients build a direct relationship with their healthcare provider.  Accurate, complete and thorough interpretation achieves better practice outcomes.Certified medical interpreters provide the important support needed for a health care system to deliver leading edge patient care, education and research one patient at a time.

Medical Offices and Interpreter Agency for L&I Clients

Certified medical interpreters provide services for medical providers, including Occupational Health and Independent Medical Examinations. Professional medical offices should hire an interpreter agency, such as The Language Exchange Inc, for Labor and Industries clients instead of hiring independent interpreters for several reasons.

Because of our large team of professional interpreters, it is fast and seamless to assign another interpreter if the assigned interpreter can’t make the appointment.  But even more critical to the medical office, when working with The Language Exchange Inc, the medical office does not run the risk of collaborating with FRAUD, which is extremely common.

Independent interpreters may charge your patients fees for accessing their services PLUS billing the state. They may arrange and re-arrange patient schedules TO MEET THEIR OWN PERSONAL SCHEDULE, a violation of state regulations. BE AWARE, TAKE CARE AND USE A PROFESSIONAL AGENCY!

From the Guidelines for Labor and Industries – As an interpreter for an injured worker or crime victim you cannot:

  • Market your services to workers or crime victims.
  • Arrange appointments in order to create business or to fit into your schedule including canceling and rescheduling a worker’s medical appointment.
  • Contact them other than at the request of L&I, self-insurer, doctor or vocational provider.
  • Provide transportation to or from the doctor or vocational appointments.
  • Require them to use your interpreter services exclusive of other approved L&I interpreters.
  • Accept any money for services provided from anyone other than from L&I or the self-insurer.
  • Bill for someone else’s services with your individual (not language agency group) provider account number.
  • Engage in any other activities that may be thought of as a service other than interpreting.

Bilingual Employees are Qualified to Interpret – True or False?

Being fully bilingual does not even begin to define what it means to be an interpreter or a translator.  Cultural awareness and depth knowledge of the interpretation or translation process and stages are an absolute necessity when providing interpretation or translation services.

The use of bilingual personnel as opposed to trained interpreters can cause potentially fatal errors as well as increase the cost of services due to miscommunication.  There is conclusive medical research on this topic.  A study published by the American Association of Pediatrics listed certain types of errors that untrained interpreters make:

  • Omission: leaving out a word or phrase
  • Addition: adding a word or phrase not uttered
  • Substitution: substituting a word or phrase for a different word or phrase that are incorrect or not related to the original
  • Editorialization: providing personal or idiosyncratic views as the interpretation of a word or phrase
  • False fluency: using a word or phrase that doesn’t exist in the language or is incorrect and substantially alters the meaning.

In this study, there was an average of 31 errors per interpreting encounter.  18% of the errors had potential clinical consequences overall.

Another study found that the interpreter’s years of experience made no difference.  Only training made a difference.  The proportion of errors of potential consequence was as follows:

  • Ad hoc interpreter (in this study, less than 40 hours of training) : 22%
  • No interpreter: 20%
  • Professional interpreter with 40 to 99 hours of training: 12%
  • Professional interpreter with at least 100 hours of training: 2%

For interpreters with over 100 hours of training, 0% of the false fluency, substitution or editorialization errors had potential clinical consequences.  Another study the the University of Massachusetts Medical School has found that professional interpreting services, at both admission and discharge, reduced a patient’s length of stay by .75 to 1.45 days.  These patients were also less likely to be readmitted within 30 days.  The savings in misdiagnosis, length of stay and readmission rates are significant. According to Becker’s Hospital review, in Oregon, for example, the average cost per inpatient day is approximately $2500.  Working with a Language Exchange certified medical interpreter, from this perspective, is very cost effective.

Request an Interpreter Today!